the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Doctor of Ministry

Policies for Doctor of Ministry Programs

Overview of Doctor of Ministry Programs

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree is an advanced professional doctorate degree in ministry. The purpose of this program of study is to equip persons who are committed to a Christian vocation for a high level of excellence in the practice of ministry.

The distinctive features of the Doctor of Ministry degree program include:

  • Participation in interdisciplinary academic seminars
  • Practical application of classroom learning to the student’s ministry setting
  • A written research project that is related to the student’s ministry setting
  • An oral defense of the written project

In the School of Theology, the degree is offered in four distinct areas:

  • Expository Preaching
  • Biblical Counseling
  • Biblical Spirituality
  • Applied Theology

Registration

Students accepted into the Doctor of Ministry program must register for their first seminar no later than two years after acceptance to the program. After initial registration, a student is expected to register every term for seminars and every semester for Applied Ministry Experience or Ministry Research Project writing.

Unforeseen circumstances do at times require that students temporarily halt their studies. Any interruptions in study, however, are strongly discouraged for several reasons. First, students who interrupt their studies must recognize that faculty supervision may be affected by prolonged interruptions. As a result, the student may not be readmitted to the program unless alternative and acceptable departmental supervision can be arranged. Second, programs with a group experience are disrupted and progress toward graduation is delayed.

Students who must take time off from the program of study must request permission for “Continuing Enrollment Status” from the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies at least one month prior to the first day of classes in the semester. Students are allowed a maximum of two semesters of Continuing Enrollment.

Length of Time Allowed

Students in the program are expected to pursue their degree concurrently with full-time vocational involvement in ministry. Students should allow at least three years of study to complete their program. Students should take no more than four years to finish their degree.

If a student officially takes time off from the program, that absence does not count toward the four-year limit. Students who take longer than four years will be assessed an additional fee for each semester of extension beyond the four-year limit. Under no circumstances shall a student extend the time of completion beyond six years.

Minimum Grade Point

For each component of the program, a student must receive a minimum grade of “B-” (2.7 on a 4.0 scale). If a student receives a grade that is lower than a “B-” on any individual component, that component must be repeated. Furthermore, that student is placed on probation. If a student receives two successive grades that are lower than a “B-” the student will be terminated from the program.

Attendance

Because the foundational seminars are accelerated, attendance is required at every session for the entire duration of these seminars. Absence from any portion of any foundational seminar will necessitate retaking that seminar. Class participation will affect the student’s final grade.

Assignments

The accelerated plan for the foundational seminars mandates that all assignments be completed on time, including reading and book critiques that are to be done before the seminar and the papers that are to be done after the seminar. Faculty will work with students to maintain a submission schedule for all assignments.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding and integration of ministry into various theological disciplines.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate applied knowledge & skills pertinent to his/her vocational ministry.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to use standard research tools and methods in the chosen field of study.
  • Students will be able to research, plan, and implement a project relevant to his/her vocational ministry and to communicate the plan and its results effectively.
  • Students will be able to contribute to the understanding and practice of ministry through the completion of a written project report suitable for inclusion in the seminary library.

Doctor of Ministry Program

Descriptions and Requirements

Expository Preaching

The Doctor of Ministry degree with a concentration in Expository Preaching is designed to equip pastors and other church leaders in the skills of sermon preparation and public exposition of Scripture. This program of study will meet the needs of those persons who want to engage in the classical disciplines of biblical interpretation, theological reflection, and sermon preparation. It is a non-resident degree program that is intended for ministry professionals who desire further education but who simultaneously wish to remain on the field of service where God has placed them.

Curriculum Plan

The program of study consists of four areas:

Foundational seminars: 16 hours
Applied ministry experience: 8 hours
Project methodology: 2 hours
Ministry research project: 6 hours
Total D.Min. credit hours: 32

Foundational Seminars

Four on-campus foundational seminars, for a total of 16 credit hours, are required:

80311 Theological, Historical, and Practical Issues in Expository Preaching 4
80312 Expository Preaching and the Old Testament 4
80313 Expository Preaching and the New Testament 4
80314 Methods and Models of Expository Preaching 4

These seminars are not taken concurrently and may be taken in one of two ways. A student can enroll in the seminars when they are offered on the Louisville campus. Each seminar meets for five days (Monday through Friday all day and in the evenings) during a winter or summer term. A student also can enroll in the seminars when they are offered at selected extension sites.

Prior to the time the seminar meets, students are required to complete a significant amount of work (such as reading a minimum of 2500 pages plus completing written assignments). After attending the seminar, students are to write a reflection paper.

Applied Ministry Experience

Because this degree is a professional degree, it is expected that students will incorporate classroom material into their ministry setting. Through Applied Ministry Experience, students can develop higher competence and can increase skills in the performance of ministry.

Students are to complete the following courses, each of which corresponds to a specific foundational seminar:

80321 Applied Ministry Experience I 2
80322 Applied Ministry Experience II 2
80323 Applied Ministry Experience III 2
80324 Applied Ministry Experience IV 2

Each course requires one or more projects or assignments related directly to course material covered in the foundational seminar that accompanies it. The projects accomplish two purposes:

  • to reinforce, expand, and provide a practical experience relative to the seminar content
  • to assist the student in preparing for the research project that will culminate the student’s degree program

Project Methodology

    Students are required to complete one project methodology course for a total of 2 credit hours:

    80600 Project Methodology 2

    Course 80600 is attached to the third foundational seminar. The project methodology course is held during a three-day period of time and provides preparation for the research project.

    Ministry Research Project

    The ministry research project (course 80700) is the culmination of the program of study. Through a written report of 100-125 (+/-10%) pages, the student has the opportunity to apply professional knowledge and documented research into the context of ministry.

    The entire project is supervised by a committee comprised of the faculty supervisor and the professor who taught course 80600. Prior to beginning the ministry research project, the student must secure approval of a proposal. To secure approval, the student must submit a project prospectus to the two-person committee mentioned above. Once this committee approves the prospectus, the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies will recommend the prospectus to the Associate Vice President for Doctoral Studies for recommendation to the faculty for final approval. Once the prospectus is approved, the student engages in simultaneous research and practice to conduct the project.

    The results of the project are compiled in written form per specific guidelines. After the project paper has been written, the student must successfully defend the project in an oral exam before a committee of two persons. This committee includes the faculty supervisor and the professor of the project methodology course, or a second professor selected by the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies.

    Communities of Learning

    Students are part of a community of learning that helps to foster collegiality and facilitate an open and effective learning atmosphere.

    Faculty Supervision

    Students receive program advising from the office of Professional Doctoral Studies throughout the entire program of study. Upon completion of Project Methodology (80600), the student is assigned to a faculty supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for guiding the student’s progress through the Ministry Research Project.

    Doctor of Ministry- Biblical Counseling

    The Doctor of Ministry degree with a concentration in Biblical Counseling is designed to equip ministry professionals for leadership in ministering and counseling from a biblical foundation. Specifically, the degree is designed for congregational ministers and others who serve in counseling roles. The Doctor of Ministry is a non-resident degree program that is intended for ministry professionals who desire further training but whose professional responsibilities do not allow them to suspend full-time employment to relocate in order to pursue an education.

    Curriculum Plan

    The program of study consists of four areas:

    Foundational seminars: 16 hours
    Applied ministry experience: 8 hours
    Project methodology: 2 hours
    Ministry research project: 6 hours
    Total D.Min. credit hours: 32

    Foundational Seminars

    Four on-campus foundational seminars, for a total of 16 credit hours, are required:

    80551 Introduction to Biblical Counseling 4
    80552 Methodology of Biblical Counseling 4
    80553 Problems and Procedures of Biblical Counseling 4
    80554 Marriage and Family Counseling 4

    These seminars are not taken concurrently and may be taken in one of two ways. A student can enroll in the seminars when they are offered on the Louisville campus. Each seminar meets for five days (Monday through Friday all day and in the evenings) during a winter or summer term. A student also can enroll in the seminars when they are offered at selected extension sites.

    Prior to the time the seminar meets, students are required to complete a significant amount of work (such as reading a minimum of 2500 pages plus completing written assignments). After attending the seminar, students are to write a reflection paper.

    Applied Ministry Experience

    Because this degree is a professional degree, it is expected that students will incorporate classroom material into their ministry setting. Through Applied Ministry Experience, students can develop higher competence and can increase skills in the performance of ministry. Students are to complete the following courses, each of which corresponds to a specific foundational seminar:

    80591 Applied Ministry Experience I 2
    80592 Applied Ministry Experience II 2
    80593 Applied Ministry Experience III 2
    80594 Applied Ministry Experience I 2

Each course requires one or more projects or assignments related directly to course material covered in the foundational seminar that accompanies it. The projects accomplish two purposes:

to reinforce, expand, and provide a practical experience relative to the seminar content

to assist the student in preparing for the research project that will culminate the student’s degree program

    Project Methodology

    Students are required to complete one project methodology course for a total of 2 credit hours:

    80600 Project Methodology 2

    Course 80600 is attached to the third foundational seminar. The project methodology course is held during a three-day period of time and provides preparation for the research project.

    Ministry Research Project

    The ministry research project (course 80700) is the culmination of the program of study. Through a written report of 100-125 (+/-10%) pages, the student has the opportunity to apply professional knowledge and documented research into the context of ministry.

    The entire project is supervised by a committee comprised of the faculty supervisor and the professor who taught course 80600. Prior to beginning the ministry research project, the student must secure approval of a proposal. To secure approval, the student must submit a project prospectus to the two-person committee mentioned above. Once this committee approves the prospectus, the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies will recommend the prospectus to the Associate Vice President for Doctoral Studies for recommendation to the faculty for final approval. Once the prospectus is approved, the student engages in simultaneous research and practice to conduct the project.

    The results of the project are compiled in written form per specific guidelines. After the project paper has been written, the student must successfully defend the project in an oral exam before a committee of two persons. This committee includes the faculty supervisor and the professor of the project methodology course, or a second professor selected by the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies.

    Communities of Learning

    Students are part of a community of learning that helps to foster collegiality and facilitate an open and effective learning atmosphere.

    Faculty Supervision

    Students receive program advising from the office of Professional Doctoral Studies throughout the entire program of study. Upon completion of Project Methodology (80600), the student is assigned to a faculty supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for guiding the student’s progress through the Ministry Research Project.

    Doctor of Ministry-Biblical Spirituality

    The Doctor of Ministry degree with a concentration in Biblical Spirituality is designed to equip pastors and other church leaders in the theology and practice of biblical spirituality. The program of study emphasizes biblical spirituality in both its personal and interpersonal expressions, and examines this from both an historical and contemporary perspective.

    The degree is a non-resident program for Christian leaders interested in doctoral-level education without becoming full-time students on campus, and who expect to apply their education primarily in field ministry rather than an academic environment.

    Curriculum Plan

    The program of study consists of four areas:

    Foundational seminars: 16 hours
    Applied ministry experience: 8 hours
    Project methodology: 2 hours
    Ministry research project: 6 hours
    Total D.Min. credit hours: 32

    Foundational Seminars

    Four on-campus foundational seminars, for a total of 16 credit hours, are required:

    80911 Introduction to Biblical Spirituality 4
    80912 Christian Classics 4
    80913 Biblical Spirituality in the Local Church 4
    80914 Spiritual Awakening and Revival 4

    These seminars are not taken concurrently and may be taken in one of two ways. A student can enroll in the seminars when they are offered on the Louisville campus. Each seminar meets for five days (Monday through Friday all day and in the evenings) during a winter or summer term. Also, a student can enroll in the seminars offered at selected extension sites.

    Prior to the time the seminar meets, students are required to complete a significant amount of work (such as reading a minimum of 2500 pages, plus completing written assignments). After attending the seminar, students must write a reflection paper.

    Applied Ministry Experience

    Because this is a professional degree, students will incorporate classroom material into their ministry setting. Through Applied Ministry Experience, students can develop higher competence and can increase skills in the performance of ministry.

    Students complete the following courses, each of which corresponds to a specific foundational seminar:

    80921 Applied Ministry Experience I 2
    80922 Applied Ministry Experience II 2
    80923 Applied Ministry Experience III 2
    80924 Applied Ministry Experience IV 2

    Each course requires one or more projects or assignments related directly to course material covered in the foundational seminar that accompanies it. The projects accomplish two purposes:

    to reinforce , expand, and provide a practical experience relative to the seminar content

    to assist the student in preparing for the research project that will culminate the student’s degree program

    Project Methodology

    Students are required to complete one project methodology course for a total of 2 credit hours:

    80600 Project Methodology 2

    Course 80600 is attached to the third foundational seminar. The project methodology course is held during a three-day period of time and provides preparation for the research project.

    80700 Ministry Research Project

    The ministry research project (80700) is the culmination of the program of study. Through a written report of 100-125 (+/-10%) pages, the student has the opportunity to apply professional knowledge and documented research into the context of ministry.

    The research project is supervised by the faculty supervisor and the professor who taught 80600, with their prior approval of the project prospectus. Once this committee approves the prospectus, the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies will recommend it to the Associate Vice President for Doctoral Studies for recommendation to the faculty for final approval. Then the student engages in simultaneous research and practice to conduct the project, with the results compiled in written form per specific guidelines. The student must successfully defend the project in an oral exam before a committee of two persons. This committee includes the faculty supervisor and the professor of the project methodology course or a second professor selected by the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies.

    Communities of Learning

    Students are part of a community of learning that helps to foster collegiality and facilitate an open and effective learning atmosphere.

    Faculty Supervision

    Students receive program advising from the office of Professional Doctoral Studies throughout the entire program of study. Upon completion of Project Methodology (80600), the student is assigned to a faculty supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for guiding the student’s progress through the Ministry Research Project.

Doctor of Ministry-Applied Theology

The Doctor of Ministry degree with a concentration in Applied Theology is designed to equip pastors and other church leaders in the practice of theology within the context of local church ministry. This program of study will meet the needs of those persons who want to engage in the classical disciplines of theology. It is a non-resident degree program that is intended for ministry professionals who desire further education but who simultaneously wish to remain on the field of service where God has placed them.

Curriculum Plan

The program of study consists of four areas:

Foundational seminars: 16 hours
Applied ministry experience: 8 hours
Project methodology: 2 hours
Ministry research project: 6 hours
Total D.Min. credit hours: 32

Foundational Seminars

Four on-campus foundational seminars, for a total of 16 credit hours, are required:

80471 Biblical and Systematic Theology in the Local Church 4
80472 Ecclesiology and the Local Church 4
80473 Historical Theology in the Local Church 4
80474 Practical Theology in the Local Church 4

These seminars are not taken concurrently and may be taken in one of two ways. A student can enroll in the seminars when they are offered on the Louisville campus. Each seminar meets for five days (Monday through Friday all day and in the evenings) during a winter or summer term. Also, a student can enroll in the seminars offered at selected extension sites.

Prior to the time the seminar meets, students are required to complete a significant amount of work (such as reading a minimum of 2500 pages, plus completing written assignments). After attending the seminar, students must write a reflection paper.

Applied Ministry Experience

Because this is a professional degree, students will incorporate classroom material into their ministry setting. Through Applied Ministry Experience, students can develop higher competence and can increase skills in the performance of ministry.

Students complete the following courses, each of which corresponds to a specific foundational seminar:

80481 Applied Ministry Experience I 2
80482 Applied Ministry Experience II 2
80483 Applied Ministry Experience III 2
80484 Applied Ministry Experience IV 2

Each course requires one or more projects or assignments related directly to course material covered in the foundational seminar that accompanies it. The projects accomplish two purposes:

to reinforce , expand, and provide a practical experience relative to the seminar content

to assist the student in preparing for the research project that will culminate the student’s degree program

Project Methodology

Students are required to complete one project methodology course for a total of 2 credit hours:

80600 Project Methodology 2

Course 80600 is attached to the third foundational seminar. The project methodology course is held during a three-day period of time and provides preparation for the research project.

80700 Ministry Research Project

The ministry research project (80700) is the culmination of the program of study. Through a written report of 100-125 (+/-10%) pages, the student has the opportunity to apply professional knowledge and documented research into the context of ministry.

The research project is supervised by the faculty supervisor and the professor who taught 80600, with their prior approval of the project prospectus. Once this committee approves the prospectus, the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies will recommend it to the Associate Vice President for Doctoral Studies for recommendation to the faculty for final approval. Then the student engages in simultaneous research and practice to conduct the project, with the results compiled in written form per specific guidelines. The student must successfully defend the project in an oral exam before a committee of two persons. This committee includes the faculty supervisor and the professor of the project methodology course or a second professor selected by the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies.

Communities of Learning

Students are part of a community of learning that helps to foster collegiality and facilitate an open and effective learning atmosphere.

Faculty Supervision

Students receive program advising from the office of Professional Doctoral Studies throughout the entire program of study. Upon completion of Project Methodology (80600), the student is assigned to a faculty supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for guiding the student’s progress through the Ministry Research Project.

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.